One year after the murder of George Floyd, liberals are continuing the fight to eliminate racism and discrimination across Europe.
A year ago today, on 25 May 2020, George Floyd was killed by police in Minnesota, USA. This appalling murder, captured on video, sparked public outrage leading to widespread calls for racial justice and law enforcement accountability worldwide.
Questions of racial justice remain relevant in Europe too. Persisting high levels of discrimination based on ethnic origin affect access to opportunities including work, housing, education and goods and services in the EU.
European liberals have always responded vigorously to the developments and challenges that have threatened freedom, equality, and human rights across Europe, including on matters of racial justice.
In June 2020, liberal MEPs from across Europe supported the European Parliament resolution affirming Black Lives Matter, condemning the appalling death of George Floyd.
As Co-president of the Anti-Racism & Discrimination Intergroup of the European Parliament, Samira Rafaela MEP (D66, NL), continues to be prominent voice encouraging the EU to “walk the talk” when it comes to taking action on racism and discrimination in Europe.
Karen Melchior MEP (Radikale Venstre, DK) has expressed vocal support not only for EU action but change on the national level. In Denmark, Samira Nawa MP, also from ALDE Party member Radikale Venstre, proposed a bid for a national racism action plan.
In September, liberals including European Commission Vice-President Věra Jourová took part in launching the EU Anti-Racism Action Plan 2020-2025, a crucial next step for eliminating discrimination in Europe. This plan was further set into action at the EU Anti-Racism Summit in March 2021, co-organised by the Anti-Racism and Diversity Intergroup of the European Parliament with liberal participation.
Across Europe, liberal leaders are encouraging discussion on how racism can best be tackled in society and fostering dialogue between law enforcement and communities. This is especially pertinent given recent data from the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights on how race influences the likelihood of being stopped by police in Europe.
As liberals, we believe dignity and freedom for every individual are the building blocks of peace, prosperity, and progress. That is why we will continue to combat all forms of racism, division of societies and hatred against human beings, wherever it persists.
🇪🇺@samiraraf: "I stand with everyone who is protesting against police violence, systematic injustices, discrimination & institutional racism. 'United in diversity' we say in the EU, but people demand action from our own institutions and our own Member States." #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/HNtb9iw9qP— Renew Europe (@RenewEurope) June 17, 2020
Photo credit: Reuters